Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Letterpress Prints to be Released in Mid-August

Monkey with uke detail copyright Amy Crehore 2010
I will be releasing new 3-color letterpress prints in mid-August. Above is just a small detail of the design, but the colors will be completely different. Watch my blog for more news about this special artist-signed limited edition print....coming soon. (I'm sorry this project has taken so long, but we want it to be right.)

Friday, July 30, 2010

"Let Me Play With Your Poodle" performed by the Hokum Scorchers

Someone was just saying on boingboing (in the comments section) that the song "Let Me Play With Your Poodle" is the dirtiest little ditty ever.
So, I changed the song on my website player to "Let Me Play With Your Poodle" by Hudson Woodbridge (a.k.a. Tampa Red) 1942. My band, The Hokum Scorchers, recorded this song in 1992 for our "Feed the Kitty" album. Lou plays the National guitar and we both sing. The poodle double entendre could go either way - male or female. In the old photo above, Lou seems to be sporting some sort of "poodle hair" (photo taken at Ken Kesey's house). Have a listen here:
(scroll down for music player)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Current Inspiration, Another Dead Genius

I have a nice book on Robert Schwartz called "Dream Games" (published in 2004 by the San Jose Museum of Art). He has been a favorite of mine for quite a few years. Unfortunately, he died at age 53 of a rare protein disorder in the year 2000. His gouache paintings were very intricate, surreal and original. He packed a lot of soul into his tiny narratives. There is no one quite like him. I'd love to be able to see a few of these paintings when I visit San Francisco next month. (Hackett Mill Gallery: LINK to above images) Sadly, I can't find much about this GREAT painter on the internet. I'm glad that I own this awesome book to inspire me. You will find a few more images here: San Jose Museum of Art
The book has over 80 paintings and may be hard to find. There are a couple of copies on amazon: amazon.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Pierrot Couple with Mandolin and Moon.

Here's another vintage pierrot postcard. Sent to me by my wonderful friend Valerie in Barcelona. Thanks, Valerie. You are the best! It's so beautiful and perfect - with the mandolin and the moon.

Etta James Sings "Something's Got a Hold on Me"

This is for my friend Ruth....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Look at Picasso in the Met (Charlie Rose)

His portrait of Gertrude Stein was the 1st work by Picasso to enter the Met's collection in 1946.
Gary Tinterow speaks with Charlie Rose about the Picasso show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Here's the link-

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Strange Sources of Music- Giant Ukulele 1926

Click to Enlarge
Miss Una Fleming from L.A. with her five-foot ukulele is featured on page 55 of the March 1926 issue of Popular Science Magazine. The photo is surreal - the giant ukulele dwarfs the player. Hawaiian coconut ukuleles are also featured (bottom right) as well as a jazzy clown one-man band (bottom left).
1926 was the peak year of the American ukulele boom. I wonder how many other magazines published articles on ukes that year? C.F. Martin produced 10,870 ukes in 1925 and a whopping 14,101 ukes in 1926. Production dropped off in 1927 to less than half of that. (1943,1949 and 1950 were also fairly large production years.) It's a trendy little instrument, falling in and out of favor.
The ukulele is back in favor again in 2010.
(Thanks, Ted Dawson for sending me the article.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Bee-Keepers 1568 by Pieter Bruegel The Elder

The Bee-Keepers 1568 by Pieter Bruegel, Berlin (click to enlarge)
This surreal image is for Mark Frauenfelder who writes about backyard beekeeping in his new book "Made By Hand". Yesterday, I bought a huge book of drawings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Ludwig Munz, Phaidon Publishers, 1961). It is absolutely fascinating.
This is one of the drawings.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Josef Frank on Google

Josef Frank, an Austrian/Swedish architect, engineer and textile designer was born today. Google is celebrating and I am applauding. Here's a

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Decorated bike and rider

Reminds me of the vintage Rose Parade postcards
(Portland) with floats of roses.
Excellent bike decoration and bee costume!

Myriam Eykens' Figures

Tenderly- Terra Cotta

I like these sculptures by Belgian artist Myriam Eykens:
(Thanks, artinconnu flickr set)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Harvey Pekar Died Today

Maybe you saw this film of Harvey Pekar's life (with an unforgettable performance by Paul Giamatti) or maybe you read his autobiographical comic book: "American Splendor". His stories were illustrated by many artists including R. Crumb.
Rest in peace, Harvey. Wikipedia link.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ukulele Dreamgirl Painting in Brooklyn, July 16th

"Hokum Hallelujah" by Amy Crehore 2009 (oil on linen 12" x 18")
This is the piece I sent to Williamsburg, Brooklyn (NY) for the group show at the new 99% Gallery. I am hoping that people in the NYC area will make it out to the opening.
There's a mini preview of the show on (looks good).
It opens on July 16th, 2010 from 7-10 pm.
Location: 99 North 10th

Brooklyn, NY 11211

Friday, July 09, 2010

Frauenfelder's New Book is a Joy to Read

Mark Frauenfelder doesn't need me to review his new book, "Made by Hand". It's been reviewed by almost everyone. He's been on the Colbert Report and interviewed by countless others. Time. com, Huffington Post, you name it. And I'm glad - because this book is utterly absorbing and I didn't want most of the chapters to end! It made me cry (when the family lost their chickens to predators), educated me (how cigarette advertising killed DIY, killing the lawn, growing food, etc.), made me laugh (recounting his family's reactions to his DIY projects and admitting his own mistakes) and it also inspired me to try new things.
The thing I can't get over, though, is what a great writer Mark is. He makes everyday homespun activities sound interesting and important. He encourages us to ask questions and learn about things that we don't already know about. Most of all, Mark tells us how fulfilling it is to have a more hands-on approach to life, to make the most of what we already have and to create new things. Mark reminds us that we need this soul food to stay in touch with ourselves and that our mistakes and frustrations are the very things that educate us.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Close-Up of 3 Bathers, Amy Crehore

Here are the "bathers" in my new painting,
"The Waiting Pool". I'd like to do more "bather"
paintings. It's such a traditional subject:
Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne, Puvis de Chavannes,
Seurat, Bazille, Matisse, Bouguereau...they
all did bathers. Just google Bathers Paintings.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Ubaldo Oppi, Le tre bagnanti, 1927

Interesting example of "bathers" motif.
Oppi knew Picasso
(had an affair with his girlfriend) and also spent time in Italy.
Follow link to see and read more.
Loving his style -especially this painting.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Letterpress detail by Amy Crehore

This is a blown-up detail of a small area of an ink drawing that I did for a new 3-color letterpress print that will be printed in the next couple weeks.

copyright Amy Crehore 2010

Uke Building Workshop in Australia, Cairns Uke Festival

Rick Turner is in Australia teaching a uke building workshop as part of the Cairns Uke Festival this week. 14 students, 4 days. Shown here: newly built pineapple ukes, day 3. More photos of students and Rick here: LINK You can see the joy on their faces. This festival also has a charity art exhibit of painted ukes (Shaun Tan and lots of other artists) and a world record attempt to assemble 1,000 uke players.
(Thanks, Steve F. for telling me about it. Wish I could be there.)